A recurring theme when speaking with new Independent Contractor Physicians is minimizing the amount of taxes they have to pay. More often than not, the first thing they all do is to calculate how much they think they will make the first year, typically around $300,000, and then they do the math and figure that in the 35% tax bracket, they will pay $105,000 for income taxes, which unto itself is a large number. What they often forget is that they must also pay taxes on self-employed income, which will add another $21,943, bringing your total tax due to $126,943, and that is if you live in a state with NO income tax. There are ways to reduce this number, legally, so hire the right physician business manager, and keep more of what you earn.
Form a Physician Corporation
Establishing your physician corporation will allow you to opportunity to significantly reduce your earned income, resulting in a significant tax reduction. Simply file your PA or PC, apply for your EIN Number, file your appropriate IRS forms and establish a bank account. You can do this yourself, or you can work with a business manager. This does take some work, but it will pay for itself many times over with the reduction in annual taxes.
Physician Business Expenses
As a physician, there are regular expenses that you incur to maintain either state licensing requirements and/or Board Certification. Your Physician Corporation, along with certain other monthly expenses, can pay for these expenses. Considering that these are expenses that you would be paying anyway, the fact that you are having the Corporation pay for them with pre-tax dollars means that the expenses are 42% less than if you paid them with after tax dollars. In fact, even the expense for your Physician Business Manager is paid with pre-tax dollars.
As an employee of your Physician Corporation, you are obligated to pay yourself a salary. What you are not obligated to do is pay yourself an inflated salary. Remember, what you pay yourself in salary; you must also pay self-employment taxes on as well. We recommend you pay yourself a reasonable salary, deduct for your 401(k), and withhold an appropriate amount of taxes to cover the bill that will arrive on April 15th.
Physician Pension Plan
Most physicians are unaware that they are eligible to have their corporation contribute to a Physician Pension Plan, as a direct business expense. This alone can assist in adding significant funds to your retirement account, while at the same time reducing the profits of your corporation that would be subject to both income and self-employment taxes.
Physician Corporation Dividends
As the owner of your Physician Corporation, you receive all of the profits at the end of each year, and these profits are paid to you in the form of dividends that are not subject to self-employment taxes. That saves you 12.4% on social security taxes and 2.9% Medicare taxes. Utilizing the above strategies, and assuming an annual income of $300,000, your tax bill (excluding state income tax) could very easily, (and more important, legally) be reduced from $126,943 to $81,090. You would experience an annual tax savings of $45,853, and you would add $100,000 to your retirement savings. The amount you would pay to a Physician Business Manager to put this entire plan to work would be a fraction of your annual cost savings, so do yourself a favor, and start yourself off on the right track with the right Physician Business Manager. You will thank yourself every April 15th.
My Professional CFO, LLC, is a Business Management firm providing the highest level of service in three key areas of importance to Independent Contractor Physicians, Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs.
We specialize in Corporation filings and ongoing Compliance, Accounting and Payroll, and Investment Management. Our professionals will assist you in forming the appropriate type of company for your situation and work with you to make sure your company remains compliant. We provide ongoing Accounting and Payroll services to make certain all bills are paid and necessary tax forms and withholding payments are made in a timely manner, as well as the set up and management of your retirement accounts.
We are not simply a document filing service; we are here to help you with the part of the business that you have to do, so you can focus on what you love to do.
Alan Conner, MBA – President of My Professional CFO, LLC has nearly 2 decades of experience working with professionals and small business during both the start-up and ongoing management. He has written countless business plans and has managed assets for both institutions and high net worth clients.
Email us with any questions or call us at: 1-800-517-0CFO (1-800-517-0236)